Bhutan at a Glimpse - 6 Days/5 nights
Tour Itinerary Overview.
- 1 night Thimphu – exploring & hiking.
- 2 nights Punakha valley – monastery & Dzong visits plus hiking.
- 2 nights Paro valley – Taktsang Monastery hike, exploring & shopping.
Why book with Bhutan & Beyond?
- 18 years experience, service & knowledge.
- We personally visit Bhutan at least once every year.
- Competitive pricing and luxury hotel upgrade options.
- Exceptionally well constructed & flexible itineraries.
- Experts at combining Bhutan with India & Nepal.
- ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel.
- Provision of our SHERPA app weblink for your COVID-19 requirements.
- Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION.
- Comprehensive Trip Planner & full support from Bhutan & Beyond
Your Bhutan Land Package Inclusions
- Personal guide & driver with SUV or minibus.
- All touring & transfers throughout.
- Traditional 3 star hotels with private bathrooms.
- All meals and bottled water daily.
- All sightseeing & entrance fees.
- Bhutan GOVT Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) & local taxes.
- Bhutan visa fees & processing.
- Bank transfer & communications fees..
- Professionally operated by Bhutan Tourism Corp.
- Comprehensive Bhutan visitor guide & full support from Bhutan & Beyond.
- ATAS Accredited via our parent company MTA Travel
- Access to our exclusive travel app COMPANION
Your Bhutan Land Package Excludes:
- Airfares to/from Bhutan.
- Personal items incl laundry, drinks, designer coffee’s telephone calls, tips etc.
- Upgrade costs for luxury hotels are additional.
- Travel Insurance – mandatory to enter Bhutan.
- Any COVID-19 PCR or RAT tests required.
Please ensure your travel insurance covers you for these activities.
- White Water Rafting – Punakha Valley. US$250.00 for up to 5 persons.
- Archery in Paro from @ US$7.00 pp.
- Mountain bike hire in Paro & Thimphu from US$30 pp per 1/2 day.
- Cooking class at Paro farmhouse & hot stone bath US$25.00 per person.
- Hot stone bath at Paro Farmhouse US$18.00 per person.
COVID-19 Updates & Procedures:
Our Sherpa travel app will keep you updated with COVID-19 requirements pre, during & post travel. These include PCR, RAT & any other tests and where to get them, vaccination certificates & other documentation plus any tracing apps required at your destination and stopovers. Once your tour booking is confirmed and your air travel process commences, we will provide you with your personal Sherpa app web links to assist you manage the COVID-19 procedures that will be relevant at the time of travel.
Cancellation Conditions – Land Tour:
- Deposit date until 35 days prior arrival in Bhutan – Land tour deposit is refundable less B&B service fees.
- 35 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan – No land tour refund permitted.
Please note: – These conditions cover land travel arrangements only not airfares which are subject to their own cancellation conditions.
Paro Valley to Thimphu Valley (1 hr 30 mins)
After clearing immigration and customs you will be greeted by your BTCL guide and driver and transferred to Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. Travelling through the spectacular countryside, en-route make a stop at the Tachogang Lhakhang (iron bridge). All the houses and buildings in the Kingdom are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.
On arrival in Thimphu, visit the ‘Simply Bhutan’ display village including a traditional Bhutanese lunch. At ‘Simply Bhutan’ you can experience ara tasting (local spirit); suja tasting (butter tea); try your hand at archery and enjoy a cultural performance of song & dance during the lunch, plus much more.
Enjoy the remainder of the day to explore Thimphu, both by vehicle and on foot. Your options include visits to the National Memorial Chorten; the celebrated Royal Textile Academy (closed Sun & PH) and the Takin Preserve – home to Bhutan’s most unusual national mammal.
Thimphu to Punakha Valley. (3+ hrs)
This morning visit Buddha Dordenma statue located at Kuenselphodrang (just outside the city). The statue is made of bronze and gilded in gold. It is considered the largest Buddha Shakyamuni statue in the world.
Before transferring by road eastwards to the Punakha Valley. En-route pass the Semtokha Dzong built in 1629 the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded the Thimphu valley, which today is a monastery. Continue ascending to Dochu La (pass) to view 108 Stupas, commissioned by a former Queen as a memorial to those who lost their lives during a low intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan – Indian border. On a clear day you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalaya.
On arrival into the Punakha Valley take a wander through the local market at Mesina before lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon take an easy 20 min walk through rice paddies to visit Chimmi Lhakhang, a monastery built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (also known as the Divine Madman or Mad Monk) who has a very colourful history. It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving a “wang” (blessing) from the resident monk.
Time permitting take an orientation tour of the valley including the nunnery and, time permitting, consider a visit to the small very traditional village of Talo where you can wander through the serene grounds of the monastery with its beautiful gardens.
Sightseeing in Punakha today.
This morning perhaps enjoy a walk over the Punakha suspension bridge which offers excellent valley & river views, followed by a visit to the dramatic Punakha Dzong, which formerly served as the seat of government and is still the winter residence of the Dratsheng (Central Monk Body). This is Bhutan’s most spectacular Dzong and an excellent example of how a medieval fortress and a centre of both monastic and administrative functions, has adapted and evolved for modern day use.
This afternoon we especially recommend you travel northwards up the valley and take a fascinating hike through fields of vegetables and tiny hamlets to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. This Chorten holds very special significance being consecrated in 1999 and dedicated to the protection of the former Crown Prince – today’s current King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Alternatively take the afternoon at leisure and don’t forget the markets if you are there on a Saturday morning. If of interest white-water rafting is available in this valley at extra cost. Your guide will advise if the conditions are suitable. Please ensure your travel insurance covers this activity first!!
Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.
Punakha Valley to Paro Valley. (4+ hrs)
Depart Punakha early morning for your transfer westwards to the Paro Valley, once again traversing Dochu La, and arriving in Paro town in time for a late lunch.
This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the major features in Paro town including Paro Dzong with its cantilever bridge and the National Museum, to view the fine collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and other artefacts. Finally take a wander along the main streets which offer good shopping for jewellery and handicrafts.
Hiking Pilgrimage & Sightseeing in the Paro Valley.
Early this morning take a pilgrimage hike to the very revered Taktsang Monastery (aka as Tigers Nest) is one of the most scared and revered monasteries in the Kingdom and all Bhutanese Buddhists desire to make a pilgrimage visit to Taktsang at least once in their lives. Each step taken towards the monastery gains merit points towards their future.
Choose between a 1.5 to 2 hour round trip hike to the monastery viewpoint or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the Monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at over 800 metres above the valley floor and where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. In 1998 the monastery was seriously damaged by fire and has since been painstakingly reconstructed to its original condition and consecrated by the 4th King in 2005.
Take a Bhutanese vegetarian lunch at the Taktsang Viewpoint and, returning from the hiking trail, visit nearby Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit.
Overnight Paro Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.
Day of departure.
Early morning departure from your hotel to Paro airport for your onward flight.